The Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association award was created in 2018 to recognize young professional athletic trainers in the state of Georgia who demonstrate leadership and a passion for the athletic training profession. The purpose of this award is to recognize and contribute to the continuing education and leadership development of young professional athletic trainers.
“Sherman is one of the best athletic trainers I have had the privilege to work with,” said Ryan Bonanno, Hamilton Sports Medicine manager. “He is kind, caring and driven to help people.”
Baker, an orthopedic surgeon, was renowned nationally and internationally for his expertise in sports medicine. He passed away in 2022.
Hamilton Sports Medicine (HSM) is celebrating National Athletic Training Month in March, with a theme of “Athletic Trainers are Health Care.
Hamilton Medical Center has provided certified athletic trainers to local schools for more than 20 years. There are currently 10 HSM athletic trainers on staff. They include: Ryan Bonanno, Northwest Whitfield High School (also HSM manager); Sarah Buldtman, Coahulla Creek High School; Crystal Clark, Dalton High School; Kelly Henschel, Dalton State College; Sherman Howze, Dalton State College; Whitney Laurent, North Murray High School; Tony Mathis, Southeast Whitfield High School; Pranay Shah, Murray County High School; Emily Skipper, Christian Heritage School; and Nate Waite, Calhoun High School.
“We’re proud of our commitment to keep local athletes as safe as possible and to be able to serve in this way,” said Bonanno. “Not only do we provide injury evaluation and treatment as well as rehabilitation services, but we play a role in the community as well.”
HSM athletic trainers provide free physicals to student-athletes and volunteer at events like the Bill Gregory Healthcare Classic as well as other events.
Coordinating with orthopedic surgeons, HSM athletic trainers provide: evaluation and on-site injury rehabilitation and reconditioning, preparation for games and practices, emergency medical coverage for games and practices, biomechanical motion analysis, pre-season screenings and physicals, educational workshops and training on sports injuries, injury risk assessment, and baseline/post-injury concussion testing and management.
HSM offers American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certification training to athletic coaching staff at schools where HSM is represented.
HSM athletic trainers have completed an accredited bachelor’s or master’s athletic training program and are certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and state board. They specialize in injury prevention, evaluation, rehabilitation and emergency care.
“Our main focus is helping athletes prevent injuries and stay healthy,” said Bonanno.
Photo: Hamilton Sports Medicine athletic trainers are pictured. From left are Tony Mathis, Sarah Buldtman, Crystal Clark, Emily Skipper, Ryan Bonanno, Whitney Laurent, Nate Waite, Pranay Shah, Kelly Henschel and Sherman Howze.
The Athletic Trainers Association recently named Sherman Howze, athletic trainer for Hamilton Sports Medicine, the 2016 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)-ATA Southern States Athletic Conference Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Howze is the athletic trainer for Dalton State College (DSC).
“Sherman is a big part of our success,” said Hunter Hageman, DSC assistant men’s basketball coach. “He relates well to the players.”
Sayvon Wilson, DSC athlete, said Howze is one of the best trainers he’s worked with. “He loves us all,” he said.
This award recognizes a National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)-certified athletic trainer at an NAIA institution who has distinguished himself or herself as a model of the profession of athletic training in personal conduct and professional allied health service to athletes.
Erik Simpson, assistant athletic director at Dalton State, nominated Howze for the award.
“Sherman has lowered the cost of insurance, decreased our injury-rate percentage, and called for more stringent drug testing at the NAIA level,” said Simpson.
According to Stephanie Rynas, Hamilton Sports Medicine manager, Howze is humble, hardworking and positive. “Even having the long hours that being a college athletic trainer requires, Sherman still volunteers to help other staff members and is a true team player,” she said. “He cares about doing the best job he can and getting the best results.”